Santa Fe’s Ethics and Campaign Review Board will meet Monday to begin consideration of a complaint from attorney Fred Rowe, the boards’ former longtime chairman, over the role of PACs and other groups supporting Javier Gonzales are playing in the mayor’s race.
The meeting is scheduled of 3:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers at City Hall.
The board will not make a decision on the complaint Monday. An agenda issued today shows that the board will establish dates for other parties to respond to Rowe’s complaint and for when the board will decide if the complaint is “legally sufficient” to merit further consideration.
Two PACs and the national Working America group have reported spending about $20,000 in support of Gonzales’ campaign. Rowe maintains they are “gaming” Santa Fe’s public campaign financing system, under which the three mayoral candidates have qualified for and accepted $60,000 each in taxpayer money. Candidates can’t raise additional funds on their own but outside groups can spend unlimited amounts. Rowe, who supports Councilor Patti Bushee for mayor, contends that the outside groups have been working in concert with the Gonzales campaign.
Gonzales says he’s sent messages that he doesn’t need any PAC support. He also said after Rowe filed his complaint Monday, “From what I can see, the complaint has no facts to substantiate any charge.”
Councilor Bill Dimas is the other candidate in the mayor’s race. City elections are March 4.